31 July, 2008

Looking for Love?

Dating, there are lots of blogs and websites and services that are centered around the idea of dating.  Everywhere I go on the internet, there seems to be something about "dating" or "finding love" advertised or discussed.  (I wonder how dating worked centuries ago when there weren't books, shows, blogs, internet dating services etc as it seems that we can't do without them of late)
In the end, it is all about people looking for that connection - looking for love and hoping to find a means of discovering it. 
Sometimes, of late, I wonder how serious we are about finding it?  How open are we to the different possibilities?  Are we open to finding love wherever it might be or, are we all about finding it based upon our preconceived or established conditions?  
I recently wrote about a search for a boy toy turning into looking for an older man, when the reality is that if the connection is right, age doesn't matter nor does location or body type or language spoken.  Love is love - I am not going to say that it has to look this way or live in this area or have this education because, well, it doesn't.  If opportunity knocks, I am willing to give it a chance.  Love can be found in the most unexpected places; it is something I don't want to miss!
Am I just beyond weird or what?  
A married man recently told me that he had a list (prior to marriage of course) of the things he had to have.  Beyond that list, he had a desirable characteristics list - those things that he desired but weren't necessary.  His thought was that we all do this, but perhaps not as consciously as did he. 
Given the questionnaires and profiles that are used in online dating, I suppose we do. 
Regional preferences - We can actually set the scope of our search for love.  We are searching for love and intimacy, but it has to be with someone that lives within a 25 mile radius of our location.  So, there might be someone in the next county that is an amazing match but, we are not open to that possibility. 
Type - We can set a physical appearance standard - this is probably a man's dream as don't they all have this ideal female body that they want to marry regardless of personality or connection?  I refuse to even consider looking at someone unless they have red hair and blue eyes - not just blue eyes but VERY blue eyes.  Oh, and the man can't be barrel-chested, must be clean shaven, have all his hair, stand between 6 and 6'4" and have never had braces.  We can be that picky (I mean specific). 
These are just two examples, and having filled out the e-harmony questionnaire, I know that there are loads more ways we can conduct our search for love.  I just found these to be the easiest to exaggerate and the most telling of the ways that we limit ourselves to the possibilities of finding that which we claim to be seeking. 
I think about the mail order brides of the past - would there have been any marriages had the ad been as specific as we are today?
Or even asking friends to play match maker  - do we hand them a list of geographic, physical, and other requirements?
I know lots of people who are discouraged because they can't find the connection they seek; they aren't having any luck finding love.  Sometimes I wonder what it is that they want?  Do they want love and that connection when it happens or do they want to set the terms, define the guidelines, and determine the conditions from whence that love can begin? 


AA said...

Looking for love is different than looking for a "boy toy" (or a FWB). If you're looking for a FWB, then you've already set the terms and defined the guidelines. Therefore, you can't both be a FWB and be in love. It's just not possible.

syd said...

Boy does this hit home, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I miss having an intimate connection with somebody... but I also wonder how specific I should be in my "search." Or whether I really want to search at all, or just let fate (God, whatever) do it's thing? Honestly, it sometimes makes me want to throw up my hands and be happy with my daughters and friends/family - who rock my world anyway.

TAG said...

I think we've made things way more complex than they have to be. We, as a society, have allowed ourselves to believe technology can solve any problem. We tell ourselves (at least the geeks like me) that we can reduce any problem to a mathematical formula and solve it.

This is the one area where all that falls short. Sure the dating sites can claim some limited successes. But I guarantee you the reason they trumpet those successes is all about earning more money. If they can help a few folks along the way to higher quarterly profits great. But those higher profits are what drive things, not helping people.

I still say, the best way to find someone with common interests is to live the life you want. Do things that interest you. Be comfortable with who you are. Accomplish that, and you stand a much greater chance of finding someone real. In the end, isn't that the most important thing?


dadshouse said...

I'm a firm believer that dating sites don't work. I've blogged extensively on this. Save your money! lol

As for location - as a single parent that is key for me. I'm tethered to the neighborhood I live in now because I want my kids to be able to walk/bike/skateboard home from school and me be there. Once I'm an empty-nester, location can change.

I do agree that love comes at you unexpectedly. But love also comes from you - you can give love to every person you meet through compassion. And when you give love like that, you always have it.

Mike said...

I believe online dating is putting the horse before the wagon. Here you get all this information on someone before you even know if there is a spark. In real life you at least have some kind of feeling when you meet someone and you probably wouldn't care about half the stuff you would get in a profile. Looking at a profile is like we'll this model has power windows while this one has that and anti lock brakes. Hmm I'll take that one. I don't think people out there have fully understood the ramifications of onlne dating yet.

The Exception said...

Ah Aaron, Anything is possible!

Syd - I believe that love comes when you are enjoying your life and happy within it. But it is hard not to ponder the dating/love/intimacy thing from time to time.

TAG - Technology is intriguing. With it, we have access to peple and ideas worldwide - the possibilities seem limitless - and yet, when it comes to some things like relationships, perhaps technology has muddied the waters more than it has offered enlightenment!

DH - I like the idea of limitless possibilities, yet I am as guilty as the next in setting limits. I am bound to Northern Virginia for so many reasons for a few more years.

Just keep putting love out there - it is a fabulous way to live.

Mike - It works for some. I believe long distance relationships can work just as I believe people can find love through letters and phone calls and weekends spent together. It doesn't work for everyone, but for some...

There is something about that spark that happens when people meet though that we can't get from profiles or online dating.

Scotty said...

love and that connection when it happens
Thats me